Fat plants

Cactus succulents

Cactus succulents

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Cactus succulents

This multiplicity of plants includes at least fifty families that bring together a few hundred species. And although in general it is true that succulent plants originate from desert areas, it must be remembered that many of them grow in the territories with the most disparate climates. Even the tropical forests are very rich, where the siccitб is an almost unknown condition. It would therefore be more correct to say that these plants have a great capacity for adaptation and - despite their origins in both Central and South American and South African - they have now settled anywhere in the world.
Й anyway thanks to their particular conformation if the succulent plants can survive the most adverse weather conditions.
They, from the outside, through the particular root system with which they are equipped, are able to store the water they need: from rainwater to night dew. Depending on the species of succulent plants, the water is retained differently: if it is "succulent" - among these the Kalanchoe, the Crassula, the Echeveria and the Sedum - it will be the fleshy leaves that stock it; in the case of the "cactaceae" instead - For example the Cactus, the Mammillaria, the Grusonia and the Cereus -, those with the thorns instead of the leaves, the water will be preserved in the large stems.


Precisely because succulents have a great capacity for adaptation, it is absolutely possible to grow them in an apartment. But the fact that they are species that do not need particular attention does not mean that they should not be lent at least to essential care. Meanwhile, succulents should be placed in areas of the home that are very bright, perhaps on a windowsill, near a window. And also in this case it is good to have an eye on: after several months, winter ones in particular, in which the plants get used to a few hours of light a day, with the arrival of spring it is necessary to pay attention that the rays of the stronger suns do not burn them, permanently damaging them. It is therefore advisable to gradually rehabilitate them, always repairing them with a curtain and thus avoiding direct light during the hottest hours.


Although the succulents have among their characteristics, the extraordinary ability to store water for a long time, it does not mean that they should not be wet. It is true that excessive watering can cause rot but in the same way, if you bathe it too rarely, it will cause a drying of the earth that is harmful to the plant. If during the winter months - between October and March - the watering can also be suspended altogether to be resumed in April, in summer it is necessary to wet the plants every time the soil in the pot is totally dry. Generally a watering per week is recommended and it is good to soak the plant by immersion, that is by placing the pot directly in a basin of water until the earth is wet. Nor should the use of the appropriate liquid fertilizer be disdained. The succulents in particular are subject to rottenness and by watering them from above it is easy to cause a very damaging stagnation of water near the collar. Among the diseases, the one that occurs most easily is rot, which due to an excessive supply of water, transforms the plant into a smelly and soft mass. It is possible to try to save the plant by cutting the part that is now marching up to the healthy area. Please note that often the roots are also affected by rot. Also in this case it is advisable to cut them off for all their broken part and then leave them to dry in the sun. Once dry it will be possible to replant them in the ground.


Succulent plants have always proved useful to humans. To find a direction for example. In the deserts or in the most arid areas, the presence of the Cacti indicates the South and in these places so hostile and difficult it is useless to say how much to have a sense of orientation was indispensable: the plant also tilts towards the sun and in particular towards the direction in which this dehydrates it.
But from the succulent plants the indigenous populations - Inca, Aztec and pre-Columbian - obtained sustenance. The pulp, the buds and the fruits were edible while with the thorns they created fishing hooks and with their fibers they obtained fabrics. From the peyote, a particular species of cactus that grows north of Mexico, a substance was obtained with incredible hallucinogenic effects - used to perform particular astral rites, but not only. Its pulp was also used as an effective anti-rheumatic and analgesic agent. Even today, from the agave - from the cooking and fermentation of its pulp - we obtain the famous Mexican liqueur, tequila.